Evolution

Is this article support for Lamarckism?

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Or what?

Science 4 February 2011:
Vol. 331 no. 6017 pp. 555-561
DOI: 10.1126/science.1197761
RESEARCH ARTICLE
The Ecoresponsive Genome of Daphnia pulex
John K. Colbourne et al
To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: jcolbour@indiana.edu

We describe the draft genome of the microcrustacean Daphnia pulex, which is only 200 megabases and contains at least 30,907 genes. The high gene count is a consequence of an elevated rate of gene duplication resulting in tandem gene clusters. More than a third of Daphnia’s genes have no detectable homologs in any other available proteome, and the most amplified gene families are specific to the Daphnia lineage. The coexpansion of gene families interacting within metabolic pathways suggests that the maintenance of duplicated genes is not random, and the analysis of gene expression under different environmental conditions reveals that numerous paralogs acquire divergent expression patterns soon after duplication. Daphnia-specific genes, including many additional loci within sequenced regions that are otherwise devoid of annotations, are the most responsive genes to ecological challenges.

I always thought Lamarckism (environment can change genes) was underrated, just because it isn’t Darwinism. Which is funny, given that Darwin was not above a bit of Lamarckism himself.

What put me onto that was the certainty with which we were brainwashed otherwise in school: Environment, we were told, does NOT affect genes. Why was it so important to exorcise the ghost of Lamarck?

4 Replies to “Is this article support for Lamarckism?

  1. 1
    turell says:

    Neo-Lamarkism has been around since the early 1990’s when Reznick published his famous
    South American river guppies studies, and has steadily increased with the very new epigenetic discoveries. Lamark is definitely back, and will get stronger. DNA and genes are a small part of the story now. It has to be tht way to have 20,000 genes and make humans!

  2. 2
    bevets says:

    Why was it so important to exorcise the ghost of Lamarck?

    I think the idea is to suggest Lamarck is the only potentially valid challenge to Darwin and in this contest (and, by proxy, every other conceivable contest) The Beard comes out triumphant. Dawkins milked this idea in Blind Watchmaker: Doomed Rivals.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    OT:

    4-Dimensional Quarter Power Scaling In Biology – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/5964041

  4. 4
    Ilion says:

    I always thought Lamarckism (environment can change genes) was underrated, just because it isn’t Darwinism. Which is funny, given that Darwin was not above a bit of Lamarckism himself.

    In my experience, most present-day evolutionists, including some of the more rabid DarwinDefenders, are Lamarckians.

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